Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lay off the pipe, Rosie

It is the end of a typical day, and as usual it has gotten busy in the last half hour. There is an 'urgency' appointment that just showed up ... not quite an emergency. I walk into the exam room.

"Hi, I'm Dr. M, what's going on with your pup?"

The owner, a man with a shifty glance, lots of tattoos and a small dog in his arms, begins explaining.

"She stopped eating today and she's just been really, I don't know, listless."

I glance at Shifty. He's twitching his leg, keeps alternating between petting the dog, scratching behind his ear, toying with his belt. The dog, a terrier mix, looks nervous but alert.

He's got maybe a minor stutter, but its more like he's thinking the words faster than he can get them out. I ask all the usual questions (any vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, get into anything etc), get all negatives, then start examining the dog.

While I'm doing my abdominal palpation, and the dog is getting even more nervous, he says, "This might sound like a stupid thing, well I don't know..."

I give him the 'concerned, go right ahead' look.

"Well, I had a buddy over, visiting, and well, he-he's a cop. And he asked me, 'what is that smell?' And I-I was like I don't know! But I keep smelling it, I mean I've been smelling it a few times now when I've been home. And it turns out, later on the cops show up to my neighbors and arrest them. Turns out they were in there smoking crack! I mean, ok its not a good neighborhood. And I kept feeling weird every time I smelled that smell so I thought, since dogs have a better sense of smell maybe it was affecting her too.

He goes on:

"I know I might look weird and have tattoos and everything but I don't do drugs, I'm just freaking out that something could have happened to her."

I am pretty speechless at this point. I mean, what?? That's not a question I get every day, and by that I mean never.  I glanced at his body language again, and the tattoos were not the problem, I can assure you. I finished my exam, finding nothing abnormal, and managed to say that I had no freakin clue if that would affect the dog, but that I would go do some research and let him know.

At that point, he became very anxious to leave, saying that he had to go open his store, and practically ran me over on his way out.  Perhaps it was just anxiety relating to the dog's condition and the time, but  he never stopped fidgeting the whole time he was there.

Think what you will, I suppose. The dog was fine by the next day.

All names and identifying details have been changed, and any resemblance to actual persons, animals  or events is purely coincidental.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yoga

After months of deliberation, I've finally decided to take up yoga. It was actually a New Year's Resolution for me, right after "take riding lessons," which I've been doing for about 2 months now, and LOVE! :)

I love these rocks! From http://www.yogathailand.net/.
I don't know why it took so long to make this decision. For awhile I contemplated getting a yoga DVD and doing yoga at home, but came to the conclusion just the other day that this would never work out for various reasons. One - No one is there to correct me and help me get the poses right. Two - I will never be able to relax in my own space because I will constantly be thinking about dinner/the dishes/cats will be bugging me etc, not to mention cat hair getting on my new mat. Three - I will never, ever make time to do yoga at home. I know me. I'm lazy, and I can barely force myself to make dinner most nights. So - there was only one thing for it. Sign up for class.

I've wanted to do yoga for a long time now. In fact, I even took one intro class during vet school with my roommate. I got a great workout and I really enjoyed it. I read Eat, Pray, Love. It was okay. Although the part that took place in India was kind of the most boring, I also found it the most fascinating. After many years of struggling, I am {mostly} at peace with myself. However, I'm really interested in the benefits of yoga to my body as well as my mind. I want to do it for multiple reasons. Increasing core strength, learning to better control my breathing and body, having some time to meditate/reflect on life, overall being healthier. The strength and breathing thing will come in handy with riding, as I found out while riding Bobby, an Arabian, who was not rounding up nicely under me until my trainer said, "Remember to breathe!" and his back came up and he put his head down immediately when I took a great breath. At that moment, it hit me that I have not been breathing correctly for years, maybe my whole life. And that spurred me to finally go out and buy a yoga mat, and sign up for class.

Of course on the first day of class, which I prepaid for online, I got stuck at work and then traffic was awful. I made it to class with 5 minutes to spare only because of my mad driving skillz. (that was just a lil bit ghetto, I know). I think I did pretty good, all in all. I had to think a lot about what I was doing, but I know that will go away with time and muscle memory. I hurt... a lot, the next day. But what's the point if it doesn't hurt? If it doesn't hurt, it's not working.

When I got home, I saw Bella cleaning the back of her spine, without any trouble at all. I couldn't find a picture of that, but this one came to mind when I thought about cat yoga poses. I realized that all cats are born yoga masters.

Bella Pigeon Pose?